While the number is steadily declining, there are still many potential megapixel customers reluctant to take the investment plunge of conversion from their older analog systems. Understanding the value becomes a major piece of determining ROI (Return On Investment), and while image quality is undoubtedly an easily observed aspect of that; there is actually more value than image resolution to be had.
A white paper released by Arecont Vision titled; Pixels per Dollar (Pp$): Rethinking the ROI of Surveillance Cameras, gives some pretty obvious means of reckoning some of that value. When thinking in terms of the pixel per dollar, it may come as a surprise to find out how much value can be lost when utilizing analog over a megapixel option.
Things to really consider when it comes to a choice between the two for any given environment, ultimately become the objective of the camera. Face shots, license plates, and shipping labels are just a few of the applications where higher resolution would prove beneficial. Still these seem obvious when considering pixels per dollar, something maybe not as obvious would be the field of view. With higher resolution capabilities coupled with the ability to perform digital zooming within the image, results in a need for fewer cameras under certain conditions. Also with higher resolution, the need for PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom)cameras can even be diminished, which reduces the need for manual interaction in order to achieve a desired image.
With computer record-keeping, and the advent of various NVR (Network Video Recorder) software currently available, a number of applicable uses can come into play. Facial recognition being one many may be familiar with, but a more reliable use utilized frequently is that of plate recognition. By making use of the same technology, labels on boxes can be identified and tallied as well. While analog systems may provide imaging, the recognition of that imaging is defined by the use of megapixel cameras. Finding the platform that will deliver the desired results may be a challenge in and of itself, but without the advent of megapixel cameras within that solution, such delivery is simply non-existent. Manpower once expended on monitoring activities can instead be devoted to involvement in those very activities as the software can alert via email and even sometimes text messaging when programmed events are recognized.
Still probably the least recognized value involved with the megapixel cameras over analog cameras would be that of maintenance. The simple fact is it may be easier to replace a defective analog camera; but when a megapixel camera has issues, there are often recovery steps that can be taken to repair that camera. This is definitely something to consider when factoring the costs involved between the two. Certainly it would seem that the disposable option with its ease of handling might be better for the maintenance man handling the issue, but the accounting department could likely see the value in being able to fix a device over having to purchase a new replacement. Couple that with the ability to utilize fewer megapixel cameras for the same field of view offered by the analog cameras and that value can become readily clear.
With major manufacturers like Arecont Vision, Clearpix, and many others readily providing cost-effective and reliable megapixel solutions, it may come as a surprise that so many surveillance systems out there are still running older analog cameras. Recognition of the ROI value they offer is definitely integral when it comes to the promotion of these products.